Just returned from my second trek to the Great Chicken Rally in Huntsville, Alabama.
I still prefer the old “Rocket City Rally” name because it fits in with the city so much better. The space museum and much of the architecture play tribute to the role Huntsville played in the American space program and still plays in high-tech ballistics. But they do cook up a huge amount of chicken!
I had the Space Needle on my mind last night after perusing the souvenir edition of the Seattle Times from April 1962. I dropped in on eBay to see what sort of Seattle memorabilia might be available. Turns out ephemera from the worldly fairs actually has a category on eBay. Who knew!
Cool Stuff on eBay
Check it out- a 50 year old towel.
But not just any towel- it’s a souvenir from the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle! Very cool graphic featuring the space needle and the monorail.
This year happens to be the 50th anniversary of the “Century 21 Exposition.” Check out this classic space-age towel here…
Everyone agrees that Riverside Drive is one of Tulsa’s most unique and beautifual assets.
Why then are so many people dead set on screwing it up? Over the years I have heard some of the silliest ideas pitched as “river development” along the Arkansas. Skyscrapers on a sand bar, a miniature Branson next to a refinery, sailboats beside the Pedestrian Bridge, a shopping center with no shopping… oh, wait, that one actually happened.
Then today I came across a new kooky idea: build an amusement park on Turkey Mountain! Yeah, the lovely urban wilderness where people love to run and ride bicycles would become (drum roll, please): Tulsa Harbour.
It must be classy because they put a U in harbor. And this isn’t just some Photoshop ha-ha. Here’s a rather disturbing post I found on the Turkey Mountain events calendar– Avid Hiker writes:
Just a note to all of you that enjoy Turkey Mtn – this small bit of “urban wilderness” that we are so blessed with in Tulsa: I ran into a group of developers in the parking lot today. They are wanting to develop the lower SE corner of Turkey Mtn. from 71st to the south end of the trails into an amusement park similar to Frontier City with hotels. It would take up 140 acres. It would be called Tulsa Harbour. You can verify this with Jeannie Cue, District 2 City Councilor, and Nick Lombardi, Stan Frisbie Real Estate.
This isn’t just a bad idea. It’s a terrible idea. I’m all for development and better utilizing our riverfront’s natural resources- but screwing it up to do so seems a little short-sighted.
As you enter Oklahoma on I-44 in the northeastern corner of our state you pass a sign. It’s an official highways sign, but it’s really an advertisement. It’s an advertisement for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority touting the benefits of traveling the Will Rogers Turnpike. It shows an I-44 marker and says something like “save two hours, follow this sign.”
Many years ago I imagined a similar sign that should be posted along that same stretch of highway. I sketched it on a long-forgotten paper device known as a “sketchbook.” I recently created the digital version you see here.
I was prompted to share this after reading a Tulsa World article about a new task force dedicated to helping Tulsa promote its Route 66 history. I wrote a short article about the topic for our Two Wheel Oklahoma blog:
Jackie discovered this vintage postcard from the Kon Tiki Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. On the back it explains the Kon Tiki offered a “fabulous Polynesean (sic) atmosphere in the midst of Phoenix.”
Back in 1989 we made the trek to Phoenix, Arizona for the U.S. Grand Prix. Now as Formula One Grand Prixs go it was a mediocre affair- the course was set out on the streets of downtown Phoenix and, needless to say, it was hotter than hell. And yes, it was a dry heat.
One of the non-automotive highlights of that trip for me was our accommodations. A friend from Spartan had told me about a unique hotel at the corner of 26th and Van Buren. “You’d love the place,” were his words, “And it’s across the street from the State mental institution.”
Hmmm, lovely. Not knowing much more than that I dug around and found out a hotel called the Kon Tiki was located at 26th and Van Buren. Turned out it was a mecca of island kitsch, soaring Fifties rooflines and orange Trimline phones. It was also smack in the middle of the red light district- but that’s a story for another day.
“Come to KON TIKI and take away a life long memory.”